JUST IN: Presidential Election Petition Tribunal validates President Buhari’s win in 2019 election
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has validated the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23 election.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba while delivering his lead judgement, dismissed the petition of Alhaji Abubakar the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party against Buhari who contested and won the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
On the submission of the petitioner that Buhari had no school certificate, the tribunal held that a candidate is not required under the Electoral Act to attach his certificate to his Form CF 001”
Justice Garba said that the testimonies of Buhari’s witnesses confirmed that he had secondary school education.
“ In effect, the 2nd respondent( Buhari) went through secondary education and then proceeded to military school . The military school is higher than secondary education.”
He said, “ I have no doubt in my mind that the petitioners have failed to prove that the second respondent does not possess the qualification to contest the election into the office of the President as stipulated in section 131 , 137 , 138 of the Constitution.
“I am also of the firm view that the petitioners have failed to prove that the second respondent submitted false information which is fundamental in nature to aid his qualification to contest the election into the Office of the President as prescribed in section 35 ( 1 ) of the Evidence Act , 2011. ”
Regarding the transmission of election results, Justice Garba said; “Procedures for collation of results is manual at all levels.
“There is no law empowering election officials to use card reader to transmit election results. Therefore the argument of an electronic transmission by the petitioner is misplaced.”
He further said:“The evidence of the five witnesses who claimed that the results were transmitted electronically has no bearing on the requirement of proof expected of the petitioners. It is like a drop in the ocean.
“Electronic voting or transmission of results have no statutory backing. The mode of voting and collation of results have not changed from being manual since 2015,”
On the issue of violent disruption of votes in some states, the tribunal held that the allegations are criminal in nature and were not proved beyond reasonable doubt by the petitioner.
As at press time, three justices have already agreed with the lead judgment, Making it 3, against 2 remaining Justices. So far, majority carries the vote.